Mark Zuckerberg’s Presumed Successor Is Leaving Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg’s Presumed Successor Is Leaving Facebook

Zuckerberg said Cox first mentioned he might leave a few years ago, but chose to stay on after 2016 as evidence emerged that Russians had manipulated Facebook's services to provoke discord in the US and influence the election won by President Donald Trump. Zuckerberg said Cox was instrumental in the company's first News Feed and credited him for helping define the company's mission, leading the product and design teams, and running the Facebook app. "But after 2016, we both realized we had too much important work to do to improve our products for society, and he stayed to help us work through these issues and help us chart a course for our family of apps going forward", Zuckerberg wrote.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post that does not plan on immediately appointing anyone to replace Cox.

"I will always appreciate his deep empathy for the people using our services and the uplifting spirit he brings to everything he does", Zuckerberg said of Cox in his parting note. He was named the head of WhatsApp less than a year ago.

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The departures of chief product officer Chris Cox and WhatsApp vice president Chris Daniels were announced Thursday. Zuckerberg announced that Will Cathcart will be the new head of WhatsApp and Fidji Simo will be the new head of the Facebook app. Meanwhile, Javier Olivan will lead the effort to better integrate the Facebook apps. Zuckerberg is also promising to make photos and posts automatically disappear from public view.

It also comes after an unprecedented global outage this week for Facebook and its other applications affecting millions of users, believed to be the worst ever for the network. In a note to employees about Cox's departure, Zuckerberg said Cox had been talking to him for a few years about doing something else but made a decision to stay after 2016 to help improve the social network. Daniels led WhatsApp for 10 months, after replacing co-founder Jan Koum, who left the company in April after clashing with Zuckerberg over a plan to loosen privacy and encryption. "Facebook a massive and evolving company, so it's only natural that in a company that large, not everyone will agree with every strategic change", she said.